April 12

Bob Giguere – ready for the day’s events.

Communication with a full face mask.

A view of the communcations station from above.

The Girl Scouts pose with their recycled waste.

Project director, Anna Olecka.

Apopka Blue Cleanup

Saturday, April 12, 2003

The crew arrived today at Apopka Blue sink at 9 am to begin preparations for the day’s events. The events for the day included clean up, educational activities and underwater video. Terrence and Bob entered the water around 12 pm to capture some underwater video footage. Bob descended to the bottom of the cavern zone and filmed Terrence entering. Terrence was equipped with a full-face mask with a communications device graciously provided for the project by NURC/UNCW of Key Largo. Reese and Leon helped deploy the camera cable while Amy maintained the surface communication with Terrence. After about 20 minutes of filming, Bob and Terrence returned to the surface pleased with their work.

Shortly after, a troop of Girl Scouts arrived at the area to observe the underwater communications. Terrence descended again and had the Scouts’ full attention. Terrence also had a drop camera supplied by Sartek. The camera enabled the observers to see as Terrence moved about the cavern. They were able to ask him questions such as, “How deep are you?” and “Do you see any fish?” Onlookers were amazed at how clear the footage was. The screen was extremely clear and details were easily seen. The voice communications were also very distinct. This educational aspect of the project was priceless for all involved.

Renee and Keith then entered the water. For an hour and a half they pulled out garbage and lots of metal fence posts. The visibility was reduced to zero as they had to literally pull things out of the silt including a garden hose.

Anna and Jeff entered next and had the same luck in finding more trash. This type of diving is tiring as divers are making multiple trips to the surface to eliminate the trash from the water. Surface support was on stand by to carry the trash out of the sink to then be categorized by the scouts. They learned that it is possible to recycle trash and even make useful things out of it. One of the projects they did was to cut the bottom off of a plastic water bottle and use it as a planter for flowers.

Team Apopka:

  • Anna Olecka, Project Director
  • Artie Ahr
  • Jeff Bauer
  • Doug Chapman
  • Amy Giannotti
  • Bob Giguere
  • James Hurley
  • Keith Mille
  • Renee Power
  • Reese Rechnitz
  • Leon Sturtz
  • Allison Tysall
  • Terrence Tysall

The day was considered a success. The team regroups in the morning for more scouts, clean up and media coverage! Bob is bringing a team of photographers and videographers to write a story on the event for Equinox Documentaries. The team met for debriefing over pizza and ice cream followed by a slide show of the day’s photos.

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